Saturday, September 02, 2006

What the hell is Design?

Now that I have spent more than 10 years living this word, some semblence of sense has begun to dawn. Before I went to a design school, the word 'design' carried vaguely the same ideas what the common man on road in India may carry i.e. something 'arty'..where a designer means at the most some nice looking things on computer....well things have changed now. At NID we were taught 'design' can change the world. It is a thinking process; way of going about things. Prof M.P. Ranjan, the think tank at NID says, "it is the intentional activity, that creates value" (ooooh....eating a chewing gum, to make bubbles is a highly intentional acitvity to create a highly valuable 'bubble'..no, 'design' can not be put in such vague terms). One thing I believe is of prime most importance- DESIGN, whatever said and done, it is just an ENABLER...it is not the grand act of BUSINESS or ORGANISATION it self. APPLE uses design to carry out business efficiently, but IDEO's business is DESIGN itself. So there is a distinction. Energy that is required to initiate and sustain a business or organisation is a much bigger energy than the 'creative energies in the domain of design'. Every activty in the business can have a design thinking involved, but it does not require a designer to do that. Entrepreneur, usually a living volcano's of energy, integrates so many thoughts that DESIGNERS call the 'systems thinking' and not only that, he/she is also mentally processing them to find a creative solution out of it. Thus insightful businessmen are gifted with 'design thinking' by birth. Thus some learn it at design schools and some get it by birth. Some learn it at design school and keep learning all their life, discussing endlessly the very origins...never be able to touch the levels of 'active energies' that a natural integrator would have reached on his own. There is a urdu sher-
Phalsafi ko bahas me, khuda milta nahi
dor ko suljha raha, sira milta nahi.

(A philosopher, discussing endlessly would never get to the God. It is like trying to find the end of an entangled mesh).